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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Sewing Felt Toys
  • Chapter 2: Jointed Felt Toys
  • Chapter 3: Seams and color Changes
  • Chapter 4: Surface Decoration and Fabrics
  • Chapter 5: Armatures
  • Chapter 6: What's Inside
  • Chapter 7: Bean Bag Toys
  • Chapter 8: Tips and Techniques for Designing Your Own Toys

Title: Sewing Tiny Toys
Author: Carolyn Vosburg Hall
Publication Date: Trade:1999
Publisher: Krause Publications
Page Count: 144
Book Dimensions(ht. x w.): 10 3/4" x 8 1/4"
ISBN: 0873417879

PATTERN RATING: Star Rating. When I grow up to be a professional, I want to be Carolyn Vosburg Hall. While Margaret Hutchings is my favorite for sheer character and attention to detail, and Rudi de Sarigny will always have my heart as a teacher of design, Ms. Hall happens to be perfection in both categories. She captures not just the gross features that make an animal what it is, but the subtle ones as well. Yet another of my pet peeves (yes, I appear to have an awful lot of them) when it comes to toys is the generic quality of so many of them. Cut the ears off many rabbit toys, especially around Easter, and you instantly lose the ability to tell it was supposed to be a rabbit. There is an inherent rabbity-ness about Ms. Hall's design that tells you what it is, even if the ears are gone. That is an awe-inspiring talent. Ms. Hall wasn't kidding when she says these are patterns for tiny toys. With the exceptions of the snake and eel, nothing gets above 7", and there are a lot in the 3" to 5" area. Needless to say, the patterns in the book are all full-sized already. She uses the old a-b-c method of marking the patterns AND dots, and other marks AND plenty of tips on the patterns themselves. Oh, and seam allowances are marked where there are seam allowances to be had - many of the toys have to be handsewn in felt and don't need seam allowances. There are 52 different patterns. She is detail oriented AND gives huge variety.

INSTRUCTION RATING:Star Rating. The instructions are pretty basic, but so are the toys. She gives illustration where there is important detail that isn't inherent to the pattern pieces themselves.

BONUS MECHANICS RATING:Star Rating. There is a very long chapter in the back that gives you still more tiny animal patterns - but she goes into excellent detail on how she created each one and what went into her decisions! She builds on basic principles and techniques until she ultimately gets to a dragon pattern where she admits sometimes you just have to guess, sew, adjust, sew again, then adjust your adjustments till you get something that pleases you. This book is in my top five I'd recommend on soft toy craft. Please, Ms. Hall, publish more books.